Coroner’s inquest expected to open into COVID fatalities at CHSLD Sainte-Dorothée

An inquiry by the Quebec Coroner’s Office is expected to soon be underway into the circumstances that led to a seemingly uncontrolled outbreak of COVID-19 at CHSLD Sainte-Dorothée during the first wave last spring of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a recent media report, the CISSS de Laval sent a memo late last month to CHSLD Sainte-Dorothée employees, advising them that the inquiry was about to begin.

There were more than 100 fatalities from COVID-19 at the CHSLD during the pandemic’s first wave – well above the norm at most other similar facilities in the province.

In addition to the coroner’s investigation, a class-action lawsuit has been launched, blaming the deaths largely on mismanagement at the CHSLD.

In the memo to employees, the CISSS says they may soon be asked to sit and be interviewed by Sûreté du Québec investigators, and that they may wish to be accompanied by legal counsel when this takes place.

The CISSS points out to the employees that not all information can necessarily be shared with the SQ as it might be considered confidential and privileged under medical ethics rules.

The Quebec Coroner’s Office says a notice that a hearing will be taking place should be published in the coming weeks.